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How are Custom Orthotics Made?

by Dr. Joel W. Brook
Dr. Joel Brook is a board-certified podiatrist and foot and ankle surgeon at Dallas Podiatry Works in TX.

“Hi, my name is Jordan and I’m one of Dr. Brook’s medical assistants. Today I’m going to be talking to you about custom orthotics. Your doctor may order a pair of custom orthotics based off your condition. Some of the conditions that we treat with orthotics are plantar fasciitis, flatfoot, and Achilles tendinitis. To do a proper orthotic scan we use an electronic force plate that measures the pressures off the bottom of your feet. Jessica, are you ready to help me demonstrate?”

“I’m so ready!”

“So, if you could go ahead and step right in the middle of the box with both feet for me please. I’d like you to stand just like normal – nice and relaxed, feet shoulder-width apart. What you’re seeing on the computer screen is your gait scan, and this is what we send off to the orthotic group to make your custom inserts.

For the second part of the orthotics scan, we’re going to do one foot at a time. I’m going to have you start with the right foot, Jessica. You’re going to walk through the board, just placing your right foot in the middle.

The process of obtaining orthotics is easy. We use information that is transmitted through a lab, so your orthotics may be fabricated. We will call you as soon as your orthotics arrive. When you come in, you don’t need to see the doctor. You can come in and see just one of the medical assistants.

Alright Sydney, so these are going to be your custom inserts, ok? So you’re going to want to wear these as much as possible. When you have your custom insert, you can put them in whatever shoes – I see you have a different variety of shoes here – your cheerleading shoes, running shoes, and your everyday shoes. When you’re breaking in your orthotic, you’re going to want to wear them for about an hour or so the first day. Slowly increase your time – I usually like to say double it, so the second day wear them for about 2-4 hours, and then so forth. After four weeks, Dr. Brook would like to see you guys back in here just to make sure everything is fitting properly. Perfect. So go ahead and try those on for me and tell me how they feel. Do they feel okay?”

“Weird. Different.”

“A little different? Yeah, they’ll take some getting used to, but you’ll start to really love them, I promise. And then there’s a 30 day guarantee, so when she comes back in four weeks to see the doctor, if she has any issues that she’s complaining about, we can definitely give those a tweak for no cost at all.
Awesome! High-five! Good job.

What you saw was a break-in process to a young girl, but the process stays the same for all ages. If you have any questions, please feel free to give us a call. Thank you for being our patient, we’re honored to be part of your healthcare team!”

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